|OFAH FILE: 842/420 |
January 6, 2006
|For Immediate Release|
Political double standard threatens northern Ontario rivers
Government intentions to develop private dams on at least 18 pristine river systems in Northern Ontario indicate a double standard in Premiere Dalton McGuinty’s election platform for natural space protection, says the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.
“It seems that major waterways that would otherwise face environmental protection in the south are not entitled to the same level of respect in the north. As a result, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and the North Shore Steelheaders Association are lobbying to ensure Lake Superior tributaries are not threatened by the government’s mad rush to develop waterpower,” said Dr. Terry Quinney, O.F.A.H. Provincial Manager of Fish and Wildlife Services.
Recently, the Ontario Government determined that northern Ontario river systems are suitable for private energy plants despite resounding opposition from local anglers and the government’s own biologists. Evidently, the McGuinty government has chosen to ignore well-founded concerns that dams will damage Lake Superior’s recreational fisheries.
“In the case of the Steel River, near Terrace Bay, building a dam that provides relatively very little power flies in the face of good environmental stewardship and risks the destruction of a prime trout and salmon producing river on Lake Superior,” explained Dr. Quinney.
According to the M.N.R.’s own figures, the damming of northern Ontario waterways, such as the Steel River, will produce no more than 10 megawatts of power, assuming ideal production conditions. That’s only enough power to operate approximately 250 homes, and it represents less than 1/2500th of the capacity necessary to meet expected shortfalls in our energy supply.
“How does the end justify the means?” said Quinney.
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